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Tiffany Studios
"TEL-EL-AMARNA" VASE
Estimate
12,00018,000
LOT SOLD. 22,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
1
Tiffany Studios
"TEL-EL-AMARNA" VASE
Estimate
12,00018,000
LOT SOLD. 22,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important 20th Century Design

|
New York

Tiffany Studios
"TEL-EL-AMARNA" VASE
engraved 5171N L.C. Tiffany-Favrile
favrile glass
7 1/8  in. (18.1 cm) high
circa 1920-1925
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Literature

Marilynn A. Johnson, Louis Comfort Tiffany:  Artist for the Ages, London, 2005, pp. 210-211 (for a closely related example in the collection of Toledo Museum of Art)

Catalogue Note

The name for the banded decoration of intersecting zigzags, chains and other variations found on the applied necks and bases of many Favrile vases has changed over time.  Once known as “Egyptian Collar,” the term “Tel-el-Amarna” has come to be accepted.  However, recently discovered evidence indicates that “Byzantine” might be more accurate, as it appears Tiffany Studios intended “Tel-el-Amarna” to refer not to a decoration but to a particular shade of blue.

Tiffany Studios had a special exhibition at its Madison Avenue showrooms in March 1909.  A review of the display in the New York Observer commented:

Mr. Tiffany of the Tiffany Studios has just succeeded in producing the turquoise tone in Favrile glass. Upon this he has been at work for a long time. That his success is a triumph will be appreciated when it is known that only once before in the world’s art history (the Egyptian Tel-el-Amarna period) has this delicate hue in glass been approached, and that the Tiffany glass in color and tone not only equals but surpasses the Egyptian. Mr. Tiffany was inspired to try for this difficult shade in glass by seeing some rare bits of Egyptian porcelains of the Tel-el-Amarna period while he was in Egypt two years ago.

Both the article in the Observer, and one appearing in the York Evening Post, mention that some of the vases in the exhibit were decorated with “bands of fine interlacing design,” and this is perhaps the basis for referring to all pieces with a similar decorative motif as “Tel-el-Amarna.”  However, the fact that Arthur and Leslie Nash, in unpublished company notebooks, referred to Favrile shades with a border decoration of zigzags as “Byzantine” would seem to indicate that it, and not “Tel-el-Amarna," is a more historically accurate description for this category of vases.

Tel-el-Amarna vases, with their classic shapes, diversity of colors and wide range of decorative motifs have long been favored by collectors.  The McConnells’ collection superbly exemplifies the finest characteristics of this style, ranging from a vivid “Mazarine” blue (lot 3) to a striking “Samian” red (lot 1), and the imaginatively modified decorations on the necks of lots 2 and 7.

─Paul Doros

Important 20th Century Design

|
New York